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    Thread: P3081 Error code...suggestions please...

    1. 09-15-2008 03:56 PM #1
      Got an 02 1.8T Jetta, runs fine, got about 80000 on it. Got a check engine light a couple days ago and got the scanned at autozone. Got the following results
      Code P3081
      - engine temperature too low
      Probable Causes
      -1. Failed Thermostat
      -2. Poor electrical connection at ECT
      -3. Failed ECT
      My coolant level looks fine so I was just wondering what other check I could do before taking it to a mechanic...

    2. 09-15-2008 07:35 PM #2
      dude take that car to the dealer and avoid future problems

    3. 09-15-2008 07:46 PM #3
      There are essentially three very common problems with the cooling system on the 1.8T.
      The first of these, and the easiest to fix, is the coolant temperature sensor. Cars equipped with the black sensor tend to get misreadings and have a number of associated problems due to the faulty sensor. A new green sensor (the improved revision) will run you around $25 at the dealer and is a 10 min (max) job to replace.
      A second common issue, and slightly more difficult, is the thermostat. This is likely your problem, as your engine is running too cold. This part, again, is about $20 and you can handle this job in an hour or so (less with the right tools.)
      The third, and most dreaded, common problem with the cooling system is a failed water pump. The original pumps had a plastic impeller which tend to degrade over time and sometimes completely shatter. This leaves your car with poor to no coolant circulation, and causes overheating. This is also the most difficult to fix of the three issues, and usually involves replacement of the timing belt along with it.
      So, all that being said...it is either your thermostat, or your coolant temperature sensor. If you tackle either of these jobs yourself make sure to replenish your cooling system with G12 coolant ONLY (available at the dealer or online sources.) Good luck with things. [IMG]http://*****************.com/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    4. 09-17-2008 12:10 AM #4
      i had the same code i replace the termostat and still trigger the code then i went to the local foreing parts store i tlake to the guy therere and suggeted that i time the fans they where on for les than 5 seconds then he suggested to change the coolant temperature sensor and VOILA almost 2 months lates no code he said that sensor is MULTIFUNCTION and anything goes wrong with it it gives all kind of codes and that was a cheap part less than 20.00 dlls and a very common part to go bad i hope it helps

    5. 09-23-2008 12:46 PM #5
      Thanks for the info guys. Talked to some ppl and majority told me its probably the bad coolant temp sensor. Question, my temp gauge in the dash doesn't shows normal. So if the gauge is normal but the codes coming up. Wouldn't that mean that the thermostat is fine and just the faulty sensor is throwing out the code. Or does the temp sensor also affect the gauge.
      Also, the light went out now. Think I should just leave it alone?

    6. 09-23-2008 01:24 PM #6
      Even if you are not getting noticeable troubles from your coolant temp sensor, it is still a good idea to replace it as a precaution. It really shouldn't take you more than ten minutes to replace it either. And yes, if your gauge reads normal, there is still a likelihood that your sensor has gone bad (given you have the black top sensor.)
      The light will vary depending on climactic conditions...I didn't notice that my thermostat was bad until winter hit and the car had trouble getting up to temp, causing a light.

    7. 10-05-2008 06:38 PM #7
      alright. i currently have the p3081 code illuminating my CEL light on my 2003 1.8T Wolfsburg (57,000mi). my scenario is a little bit different from everyone elses though. about three months ago error code p2181 came on: cooling system problem. well eventually the light went off after a few weeks, so i figured ok no big deal must be a trippy ECTS. anyway the code came on again a month ago, so i went out and bougt a new sensor just so i wouldnt have to worry about it. i had to get my brakes replaced and transaxel checked as it was leaking fluid (fixed now), anyway i gave them the sensor to replace since they were gonna be under the hood anyway. they installed the sensor and that cleared the code.
      CEL light came on again friday night so i took it to autozone and P3081 came up. i noticed that the engine was running EXTREMELY cold, especially when driven harder. friday and sat the car also would cut power while accelerating, im not sure if this has happened to anybody else but im prettty sure its not a good thing. well so far today that hasnt happend (yet) and on the way home the engine actually heated up (or so the gauge said), but then i accelerated away from a stop light and it went back down though by not as much.
      any suggestions?

      Modified by forzamotorsport9 at 6:55 PM 10-29-2008

    8. 10-29-2008 10:01 PM #8
      code still being thrown. acceleration while cornering causes the car to bog down and cut out power for a few seconds, works fine besides that.
      engine doesnt heat up all the way while being driven hard.
      what gives?

    9. 11-03-2008 12:36 PM #9

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